Healthful Tips for Holiday Eating

As the holidays approach, parties become numerous, and with each party comes the challenge of keeping your commitment to healthful eating.

If you are hosting a gathering this holiday season you can reduce fat and calories without sacrificing taste by swapping out a few ingredients in your favorite recipes.

* Using two egg whites in place of one egg can reduce the cholesterol and produce the same tasty result.
* Use low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and lighten holiday fat content.
* Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and quick breads like banana bread. Try substituting a small amount at first, as the more you substitute the more the texture of the finished product changes.
* For dips, sauces and pie toppings, use non-fat yogurt, sour cream and whipped topping.
* Sliced almonds make a delicious, crunchy topping in place of fried onion rings.
* Choose reduced-fat or non-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles.

Pack your shopping cart with plenty of fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, carrots and green beans. Apples, cranberries and pears combine easily for a tasty salad, fruit crisp or topping for the turkey.

If you are a guest at a dinner party or other gathering, consider these tips to keep your night healthy, happy and safe:

* If you plan on treating yourself later, start your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruit, dairy foods and protein like eggs, ham or peanut butter.
* Don’t starve yourself beforehand. Rather, eat a small, lower-calorie meal or snack such as fruit or a bagel so you aren’t tempted to overdo your calorie intake for the day.
*Select carefully between foods you definitely will eat, those you will sample and those you will skip.
*Don’t rush to eat. Socialize and settle into the festivities before you eat.
*Move your socializing away from the buffet or appetizer trays. This will minimize the unconscious nibbling.
*When it comes to drinking alcohol, start with a calorie-free, nonalcoholic beverage. Satisfy your thirst before having an alcoholic drink. It is recommended that women have only one to two drinks per day and two to three drinks per day for men. Keep in mind, even a single drink will affect your reflexes for several hours. If you plan to drink, keep your holidays merry for everyone by designating a driver who won’t be drinking.

The holidays are a great time for celebrating with friends and family over food and drinks. But with just a little preparation, you can keep off the extra holiday pounds and still enjoy all that the season has to offer.

Source: www.eatright.org (The American Dietetic Association)

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